site logo
News Archive for Thursday May 28, 2009       Goto Current News Page

Mac Upgrades/Mods | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Network
= Recent Articles/Updates =

First Feedback on MacBook Pro SMC firmware update 1.3 (w/Tips)
If you applied this firmware update let me know if you see any pros or cons. (Include MBP model details.) Thanks.
(FYI - Apple's MacBook Pro forums now have some threads on problems, including one user that claims "SMC Update killed my computer", although some others in this first thread on the update said all went OK. I wince at every update as I know a certain % of users will have problems. I even had one MBP owner (a model affected by the flawed Nvidia GPU) say the 10.5.7 update killed the GPU. As I said earlier, my feeling is this 'fan' related SMC update is a (late) attempt to extend the life of those Nvidia GPUs as some other notebook mfrs did last year.)

" Mike, I applied the update this afternoon to my MBP. (model/series?)
Everything has been operating flawlessly since.
It's supposed to improve control of the fans. (per apple doc, see earlier post below. My gut feeling is it's related to better cooling the (flawed) 8600 GPU.)
So far, it does run cooler (over the past 6 hours).
Tomorrow I'll take some readings and let you know if there is anything interesting.
Regards, Don K."

An earlier (first) report noted reduced GPU performance initially, but fixed by a SMC reset:

"Just applied the SMC update and rebooted, followed by full power fans and the quickly loading firmware screen. After that another reboot and desktop. I was curious as to what this update did, doesn't seem to have done anything to the fans as I can tell, however my performance in World of Warcraft has gone from very very good to absolutely horrendous. Seriously getting about a third of the performance I was getting before. I dont know if they just completely throttled back the graphics chips with this update or what else they did.

I have my laptop on a cooling pad and I also use SMC fan control to prevent overheating and regret applying this update. (At least for now, I'd remove SMC fan control just to simplify the equation so to speak.) Will try to reapply the update see if it fixes issues. (it probably won't re-apply again - usually it'll check and say your firmware is already updated. However I'd try a SMC reset also - may not help but worth a try.-Mike) If anything, is there a way to run a previous firmware update to revert? Any suggestions are helpful.
-Emerson "

He later replied an SMC reset helped. (I removed the earlier notes/links here on Apple's firmware restoration CDs, used for recovering from a corrupted/failed update.)

"Yea, I tried to re-apply but it didnt work, saying I didnt need it. (thought so) I went ahead and reset the SMC by unplugging, popping the battery out and holding the power button for 5 seconds. Worked like a charm. WoW runs at full framerates and everything is back to normal.

I did however notice that the fans spin to full speed right at the onset, probably as a precaution, then slowly goes back to whichever I had set with SMC control. (When I opened the World of Warcraft application, the fans shot to 6000ish rpm, even though I had them pegged at 5000rpm with SMC control.)
Crisis averted! Thank you for the quick SMC help/response.
-Emerson
PS: I have a pre-unibody ("early 2008" aka MacBookPro4,1) macbook pro 2.5Ghz core2duo w/512meg video card. 4GB of ram."

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.3
(See above for initial reader feedback on this update)
Spotted this at Apple (dated today) I don't own a MBP but it should appear in Software Update if you have an affected model. The current download page (linked below) doesn't list affected years/series, but another Apple doc revised today (listing of EFI and SMC firmware updates) has links to it in the SMC firmware column for the "Early 2008" 15in/17in and previous 15in 2.4/2.2 GHz and 17in 2.4 GHz models.

"About MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.3
This SMC Firmware update adjusts the fan behavior in MacBook Pro systems (15-inch and 17-inch) when running under high workload conditions.

The updater application will be installed in the /Applications/Utilities folder and will launch automatically. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process. For more (non-specific) information, see this article: About the SMC Firmware Updates.
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or Mac OS X 10.5.7"

If you apply this firmware update let me know if you see any pros or cons. (Include MBP model/series details.) Thanks.
(BTW - The notes on fan behavior and the fact the models updated are the same as listed in Apple's doc on MBP production ranges/flawed (pkg defect) Nvidia GPUs make me wonder if this update is similar to what some other notebook mfrs did last year for models w/affected Nvidia GPUs. (Firmware update for improved cooling in an attempt to prolong the life of the GPU, failures with the flawed pkg GPUs are typically are due to thermal stress/cycling IIRC.) There's a page here from July 2008 (w/later updates) on MacBook Pro GPU/Video Failures with links to related articles, docs, notebook mfr replies, etc.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Notes on 2009 Mac Pro Vibration noise/rattles, workarounds (not noticed here)
From a reader mail. (I didn't notice any vibration noise/rattles, etc. with a 2009 Mac Pro w/two 7200rpm HD's, two optical drives installed. But I did see an Apple forum thread awhile back on 2009 Mac Pro rattle/fan noise (and plastic card fix).)

Subject: Vibration Noise in New 8 Core 2.93 Mac Pro - Odd Tip
Mike, I had this problem in my (just gone) original Octacore machine - a really annoying vibration - almost like a small drill. After some poking around I assumed that it was the four hard drives resonating or possibly one of the fans catching the case. (the 2008 (and later) Mac Pros have some improvements to the drive trays/rails in an attempt to reduce vibration - shown in Oliver's post/pix from Jan 2008 on Drive Screws/Drive Rail Changes on the 2008 mac pro reports page.-Mike)
I was a bit disappointed to have the same problem with my new machine and did the same troubleshooting only to realise that the vibration only occurs when the side door latch is closed. If I leave the latch in the upright position - no more vibration. It must be caused by the metal slots that lock the door in place reacting to the vibration of the hard drives. So if anyone else has this problem - try it - its free!
-Johnny J."

The latch down also moves a sliding bar that locks in the HD drive trays (and Optical drives tray). I'll try to look into this on another system and see if I can reproduce this or pinpoint the source (and any ways to resolve it without leaving it unlatched). But again didn't notice this on an earlier sample here.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed Mod v1.0.0b5 Update
"Hi Mike, As promised, a heads-up on the progress of my Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed mod - after a little hiatus there's finally a new version!
I did a lot of balancing and fine-tuning (e.g. completely new ballistics for all weapons), integrated new maps and weapons, re-scripted all SP/COOP game types, added new game types, and implemented many other improvements. Furthermore, there is a new "arcade" add-on mod (with "standard" reticles and full-screen zoom & night vision), plus an info sheet with key specs for all weapons in Heroes Unleashed.
So I hope you have found your old Ghost Recon disks, because I think it's worth another look. Below are download links, media release, and release notes for the mod.
Cheers, Apex
(FYI - I didn't realize this requirement at first - but he later wrote)
Heroes Unleashed requires both "Desert Siege" and "Island Thunder" expansion packs to be installed. While Desert Siege was included in the Mac version (the Mac version is the Game of the Year Edition), the Island Thunder pack was never officially available for Mac, so you would need to get your hands on a PC version of that expansion pack and convert it for Mac. (I remember notes on converting Island Thunder years ago here.-Mike)
There is an easy-to-use patch available over at DAMNR6.com that does the conversion for you - except converting the sounds from .wav to .aif - which is not essential but sounds a lot better in-game. That can easily be done as batch conversion with e.g. Max (http://sbooth.org/Max/).

Full Version Mac Download of Heroes Unleashed (v1.0.0b5 Full Install)
www.moddb.com/mods/heroes-unleashed/downloads/heroes-unleashed-v100b5-full-install-for-mac.

Update Patch Mac Download: Heroes Unleashed (v1.0.0b5 Update)
www.moddb.com/mods/heroes-unleashed/downloads/heroes-unleashed-v100b5-update-for-mac

Forums: http://www.heroesunleashed.net/forums/"

I found the disc (but not manual - hopefully no key code reqd), but not installed it (last had it on a G5 tower, but donated that last month). Real life has been kicking my behind lately but I'll try to install it on another machine later this week. I also found a ton of old Mac games (NOLF2, SOFII, Sacrifice, Tron 2.0, FA/18, Falcon4, FutureCop and a bunch more...)
(BTW - later in the day I installed Ghost Recon on a Mac Pro from the original disc - it ran (no key code reqd). Only spent about 5 minutes (first training stage) but hopefully it will be OK longer term. Downloaded the updates for it from Aspyr (.sit files) but not applied them yet. Officially aspyr notes only PPC mac support, although so far it runs under rosetta, but again not used it much.)
I tried to download the (huge - 1GB) full Mod version from the link above - it currently had only a single mirror (at filefront) and the download failed (invalid session set) - I had cookies disabled which are required.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
iWork 09 Update (9.0.2)
I don't own iWork 09, but spotted this update today:

"About iWork 09 9.0.2
This update improves reliability when saving some iWork documents and when playing some presentations more than once per Keynote session.
This update is recommended for all users of iWork '09
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Apple Troubleshooting/How-To doc updates
(later added items first)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top

OWC XYM SPECIALS!
(Ad/Sale Items)

= UPGRADES by Model =
Upgrades for YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for Current List)

= SSDs up to 4TB =
SSDs for Most Macs!

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

= HARD DRIVES =
Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5" HDs & DIY Kits =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

= MEMORY =
Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

= OPTICAL DRIVES =
Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

= VIDEO / DISPLAY =
Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

= AUDIO ITEMS =
Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

= SOFTWARE =
Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

= WIRELESS =
WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Docks & More

NuGuard KX iPhone Case *Extreme* Drop Tested!


XLR8YourMac T-Shirts


= back to www.XLR8YOURMAC.com =
Copyright © 1997-2017. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.